University of Vermont

University Communications

Vermont Ranked No. 1 Among Top Peace Corps-Producing States

UVM alumna Taylor Dorn
UVM alumna Taylor Dorn '14 is currently teaching English to secondary school students as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama. (Photo courtesy of the Peace Corps)

Today, the Peace Corps announced that Vermont ranks No. 1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita for the third straight year. Fifty-two residents of the Green Mountain State are currently serving worldwide in the Peace Corps, with a ratio that also represents 8.3 volunteers for every 100,000 residents, the highest per capita rate in the nation.

In addition, the Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan area ranked No. 3 per capita nationally, with 18 area residents serving as volunteers, a number which represents 8.3 of every 100,000 residents. Only Ithaca, New York and Missoula, Montana had higher per capita rates.

Vermont schools are also nationally ranked in 2015 on the annual list of the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the U.S. for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. The University of Vermont holds the No. 7 spot on the medium-size school list.

“When I left Vermont for Panama, the environmental transition came as a literal shock -- I went from shivering in my boots to sweating in my sandals!” said Taylor Dorn, an Essex Junction resident and University of Vermont graduate who is serving as an education volunteer in Panama. “While I am doing a lot of technical and quantifiable work, I feel that the biggest difference I can make is more qualitative things like being friendly and helpful to my community members.” 

“The hometown perspectives and values Peace Corps volunteers bring to the communities they serve become an integral part of the intercultural exchange that takes place during Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who joined Sen. Patrick Leahy in commending Vermonters on their impetus for service during a visit to the University of Vermont this September. “We are so grateful to the communities across the United States that instill a sense of service and purpose in their citizens and drive their residents to give back to communities beyond their borders.”

Vermont volunteers are among the more than 220,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since the agency was founded by President John F. Kennedy. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 1,530 Peace Corps volunteers from Vermont have traveled abroad to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.

Learn more about the Peace Corps on the UVM Peace Corps Recruting Office website.